While some initially thought of content marketing as a ‘dish of the day’, it’s hard to deny it a permanent spot on the modern marketing menu.
As technology continues to reshape our lives, content marketing proves it is still possible to connect with today’s agile and savvy audiences with the same, fundamental end goal in mind. After all, producing great content is still about attracting your target, building a relationship, keeping them informed and entertained, and hopefully scoring that all-important lead conversion into a customer.
The formula might sound simple. But you guessed it; content marketing has its complexities, many of which are yet to be discovered. One of the major hurdles of content marketing is best understood if you imagine today’s audience as born content connoisseurs who know exactly what they want. In an instant, the way your audience engages with the content you produce—every like, share, comment, or lack thereof—can become the barometer of your campaign’s success.
Like all game-changers, content marketing has sparked a healthy amount of debate. For some, the excitement only demonstrates instability. Opponents will often cite pain points including the difficulty in measuring ROI and which metrics truly reflect a campaign’s success. Whatever your stance, one thing we can agree on is that the excess chatter can become confusing!
Let’s lock down some basics…
A quick Google search on the topic can reveal multiple definitions with very minute differences. Although most are plausible, we like this straightforward take by US-based company, Marketo:
“Content marketing is the process of creating high-quality, valuable content to attract, inform, and engage an audience, while also promoting the brand itself.”
We also think valuable content should aim to ‘convert’ an audience. Here are four additional takeaways from the team at Waples:
THINK OF CONTENT MARKETING AS A MARATHON, NOT A SPRINT
The popularity of content marketing comes at a time when traditional advertising isn’t producing the same cut-through. As audiences become increasingly tech-savvy, they are also presented with more content consumption opportunities on more screens and with more competition for their attention.
In a digital-first era, these prospects do much of the pre-purchase research themselves – so content that speaks directly to this stage of the customer journey can yield a profound effect. However, this process must be seen as a long-term investment. But don’t despair – the outcomes of this relationship-building exercise are enormous; improving brand recall, developing trust and gaining higher quality leads are just a few.
DO WHAT YOU DO BEST
Your brand has something unique to offer. It could be the relatable and helpful tone of voice used throughout all your content, a series of interesting how-to articles or even providing a ‘behind the scenes’ look at your business with video and photo content. Don’t be afraid to stand out from your competitors.
Your buyer is intelligent; and ‘borrowing’ ideas and design from what’s already out there will only show your lack of expertise and a unique point of view. Whether it’s committed deliberately or not, plagiarism just adds to the overall noise – lowering your SEO ranking and making it more difficult to stand out.
PROVIDE VARIETY, BUT BE SPECIFIC
It might sound counter-intuitive but let us explain; one of content marketing’s key benefits is delivering consistent brand messaging across a broad range of content types. The most common approach is producing a blog or article on your website and leveraging this across social media channels. But maybe your target audience would engage better with an eBook, Research Report or Webinar instead?
Experiment with various types of content to find the right mix for your business and marketing outcomes. But remember to adhere to the standards of your intended channel. For example, a visually-rich social media channel such as Instagram is suited to compelling photos and videos and a unique perspective, rather than anything too text-heavy or promotional. On LinkedIn, stay professional, industry-aware and accountable with everything you post or share.
ADOPT A CONTENT MARKETING CHAMPION’S MENTALITY
The real benefits of content marketing require time and investment. But producing material to satisfy your audience online inevitably increases your brand awareness. As you build a personal library of usable content that’s not time-sensitive, you’ll also have a way to increase your reach in an economical way through content repurposing.
Turning brand awareness into brand recall and preference requires a champion’s approach. It starts with the basics: Research your buyer and create original, high-quality content to satisfy them. But these tips are only the tip of the iceberg in the Titanic of content marketing. There are a number of proven ways to enhance your strategy including:
- using social media to promote owned content.
- implementing SEO techniques to improve your website’s ranking on Google.
- aligning your content marketing and PR strategies.
At Waples, we can conveniently take care of this all under the one roof. It’s here where a content marketing agency can really power-up your campaign. To reach your content marketing objectives, it’s crucial to produce the right content for your target audience, publish it strategically and continually optimise it to improve engagement.
It also helps to work in tandem with a digital specialist to ensure your campaign works together. This could mean implementing a range of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) techniques to improve your website ranking on Google, or having a skilled writer familiar with your brand and its target audience on-hand to write impactful SEM (Search Engine Marketing) ads.
Get in touch with our Waples team to start developing your unqiue content marketing strategy today!